Charles Murray has a new book coming out

By the People: Rebuilding Liberty Without Permission, due out in May, here is some summary:

In this provocative book, acclaimed social scientist and bestselling author Charles Murray shows us why we can no longer hope to roll back the power of the federal government through the normal political process. The Constitution is broken in ways that cannot be fixed even by a sympathetic Supreme Court. Our legal system is increasingly lawless, unmoored from traditional ideas of “the rule of law.” The legislative process has become systemically corrupt, no matter which party is in control.

But there’s good news beyond the Beltway. Technology is siphoning power from sclerotic government agencies and putting it in the hands of individuals and communities. The rediversification of American culture is making local freedom attractive to liberals as well as conservatives. People across the political spectrum are increasingly alienated from a regulatory state that nakedly serves its own interests rather than those of ordinary Americans.

An AEI notice is here, and for the pointer I thank David Levey.


OMG. We Europeans still hold on to the hope that America is the stalwart of liberty (or some of us, to be accurate). What would Murray write about the EU?

He would point out there are no Europeans and there will soon not be a European union, and that he doesn't have enough time to write a book about the so called European Union before it's gone.

And that the EU needs mass incarceration - you can read a co-authored report from 1979 concerning that subject for Americans -

Apparently, such a program of mass incarceration would not, according to Murray, be "philosophically barbaric and expensive." A generation later, one can see just how Murray's views have played out in the country which leads the world in imprisoning its own citizens.

Thanks for the link. I was impressed how well written and nuanced his papers are.

The kids in question averaged 12 arrests by the time they were 16 years old. Half of them felonies I didn't realize Europe was so lawless that incarceration would be 'mass'.

Then again, we do have many fewer car burnings.

And a lot more cars that automatically lock when you turn on the ignition.

While in the socialist, seemingly lawless hellhole that is Germany, a police force that shot a total of 85 bullets at a population of 80 million in 2011. Killing 6, and wounding 15.

In comparison, it takes a South Carolina cop 8 shots in the back to kill someone - maybe Germany has less problems because its cops are better shots?

I'll venture to guess you aren't a fan of Radley Balko's writing, either.

I'll agree Germany is quite law abiding - a fact that undermines your 'EU needs mass incarceration ' assertion.

While it's obvious you often don't read the post you comment on, or the pieces you link to, it's odd that you don't read what you, yourself write.

And, though it may pain you, Germany != Europe.

USA: The country where the "last freedom fighter" thinks the solution is mass incarceration ???!!!

Don't worry - Americans think having the world's largest prison population is just more proof that the rest of the world doesn't understand what 'freedom' means. (Fun fact - there are more African-Americans jailed in America than the entire prison population of a continent with 1.1 billion people.)

We have people in prison because our cops are competent at catching them and our state legislators understand that the point of a penal system is not social work.

A generation later European crime levels are higher than American crime levels. So there's that. Is it worth it? Probably only if you're a minority.

Yes, but no kraut has fired p_a for cause, so it's all good.

Which liberty exactly? Can you explain in which way are americans freer than europeans ?

To start a business with somewhat less insane regulation. I fire lousy employees and therefore to be able to hire employees without risk.

To keep a slightly higher fraction of one's own earnings.

To free speech.

Not to pay for endless 22 year old loafing whiners.

Not to use Rita Moreno's last name as a first name.

But I digress.

So basically you have no argument loool (except the first two, but they are dubious, because it will depend which american state is compared to which european country) ... Well I am still waiting for someone to explain it...

Speech is much less free in Europe. Some things that are protected speech in the USA but not parts of Europe:

Denying the holocaust.

Speech supportive of terrorist acts (as long as not directly inciting terrorism).

Speech that is deemed offensive to someone's religion.

Racist speech.

Advertising a product in a way that a panel of experts finds misleading (even if no clearly untrue statement is made).

Publishing a link to news material about an individual who wants that material to remain private.

'Denying the holocaust.'

As an American who fully believes in the 1st Amendment (religious freedom in Germany is also inferior to what is found in the U.S.), I have absolutely no problems with Germans deciding that denying the Holocaust is criminal - after all, there is absolutely no slippery slope argument involving German mass murder. As for France? Well, when even Nazi occupiers find your enthusiasm to hand over every single Jew you can get your hands on unseemly (no, I am not joking - there is documented bewilderment by Nazis in charge of the Holocaust on how the French went far beyond their occupier's decrees - the Germans had no interest in transporting infants or grandparents at the time), it is about as reasonable to create a legal framework as the one that was put into place in the Commonwealth of Virginia, and somewhat re-affirmed by the Supreme Court - Seriously, even Le Pen's daughter is disgusted with her father's Holocaust denial, having the Front National now officially opposing her father's political campaign - the mass murder of millions of innocent people is the sort of thing that Europe does, and attempting to use laws to prevent people from using the freedom to provoke pogroms is not the sort of issue that the U.S., thankfully, has centuries of engaging in. Europe has a long and extremely bloody history, after all.

'Speech supportive of terrorist acts (as long as not directly inciting terrorism).'

The NSA may just have a different opinion on that. Though it seems the NSA doesn't like talking about what it does, so we just have to trust them, right?

The others are subject, to an extent, to dispute in various ways, especially if one wishes to conflate legal opinion from 20 or so countries. But this? 'Publishing a link to news material about an individual who wants that material to remain private.' There are laws, even in the U.S., which require the removal of database information after a period of time - such as bankruptcy - and legally enforced confidentiality, such as identifying those who commit criminal acts as minors (the name of sex crime victims, particularly under age ones, is another, slightly more ambiguous in my eyes, American exception). That google is merely being forced to follow the law in the countries where it is accessible is not an infringement of free speech - google routinely removes links from global search results according to the American DMCA, even when the links are fully legal in another country.

I already destroyed you but if you'd like more here:

Ok, not the EU, but indicative.

But if your point is both Europe and USA are way too statist and totalitarian then ok. Somehow I doubt you understand that though...

At least Rita wasn't a socialist fool.

Or give this a watch:

Man you lefties are weak.

Again: No valid argument "Can you explain in which way are americans freer than europeans ?"... I am still waiting for an answer (that is not pure trolling / ignorant like Art Deco or Explainer)

Much less free??? I dont think so...

Can you explain in which way are americans freer than europeans ?

Look up "Vlaams Blok" and get back to me. (Or read some of Theodore Dalrymple's discussion of public discourse in Britain, especially the bookstore owner contending with a social-justice-warrior government inspector demanding she organize her books according to the race of the author).

??? What about Vlaam Blok ??? Is there a huge difference between and some sectors of Republican Party???

Can you explain in which way are americans freer than europeans ?

We generally do not put people on trial for defending their life and property.

No, in the U.S., we imprison them, then sentence them to death, something impossible to do in Europe. Again, Radley Balko is a great resource for seeing how that works in American practice -

No, in the U.S., we imprison them, then sentence them to death, something impossible to do in Europe.

No, we don't.

The cause in question was lying, wasn't it?

I get it now.... the US is freer than Europe because you can have a gun to make up for other manhood inadequacies and a big ass truck too.

You may sneer about it, but we have the freedom to make those choices.

I will look at the book but the notion that America's values are dependent on fractionization is at odds with the Internet, the spirit of the times, and the core of the Constitution itself. There shouldn't be a rule against publishing after a certain point in an author's career but anyone should think that such a rule might apply to oneself.

Freedom is expressed in fractionalization.

If Canada is any model, the tightening fiscal situation will starve the bureaucracy as the entitlement state sucks up any resources. Eventually those will be scaled back by necessity, and the multiple rules and regulations will be notable in their breach as the country goes about it's business. The bureaucracies have to change because if they go about things ham handedly they shrink revenues to government and other bureaucracies beat them up in the back alley.

I suspect that it may get a good start if the Supreme court throws out sections of the affordable care act in a few months, and the president refuses to sign anything that changes the law, meaning that no one knows what is going on, can't count on anything including money, so everyone just goes about making arrangements.

The decline in enforcement of regulation in Canada is really striking, especially in the areas I am familiar with in interior BC, in Alberta the lack if enforcement effectively seems like a conspiracy conducted by all levels of the provincial government.

I can not believe that the conversion of Canada from a somewhat heavily regulated law abiding society to one where laws are only enforced against troublemakers and outsiders and the general population is starting to show contempt for regulation is a positive trend. It may be functionally necessary, but it is corrosive to the society as a whole.

Any references on the Canadian regulatory situation? Would love to read more.

Europeans are much freer in a lot of ways.

One example would be cell phone companies not legally spying on their customers in the Europe. Or the lower prices and better internet in Europe due to lack of monopoly powers. In many U.S. cities there is ONE cable/internet company.

Nothing says freedom like cheap internet

Weak freedom of speech protections, no gun rights, hate speech or holocaust denial laws, high taxes.

USA over EU a g'day.

How does Hate Speech and Holocaust Denial really fit in there? I can understand the gun rights (although Europeans don't seem to care about them. Perhaps Bob's defines freedom as the level at which his values can be imposed on Europeans) and the high taxes (basically the same thing).

But hate speech and holocaust denial? Those are silly, miniscule things that have almost no relevant impact on daily life (unless Bob is one of those Sharia-No-Go-Zone truthers who thinks the 3-5% Muslim population is lording over Europe). Hell, America's open-container laws and 21 age drinking laws probably impact the average American more daily.

Just don't have an opinion on how halal meat is slaughtered.

You talking to a guy who doesn't believe in gravity (or was it evolution? Climate change?) You can't expect logic from such a person.

Once you assume away freedom of expression, contract, and self-defense, suddenly Europe is looking great. Oh, and cheap internet! (That's the only cheap thing, except the imported prostitutes, or so I've heard)

Anyone who doesn't believe in evolution or gravity is a lunatic. Anyone who does believe in climate change (catastrophic, anthropogenic) is a dimwit.

Again, matter of opinion. Personally I feel freer in a society with low crime without the right to own guns than a society with high crime with the right to own guns.

As for the freedom of expression part, like I said, its so trivial and inconsequential that only bigots would think having holocaust denial laws means you should "assume away free speech." Its just so stupid and inconsequential, so not surprisingly somethat that right-wing nuts end to focus all their energy on.

Sorry, did you miss the fact that the U.S. has a lower crime rate?

" Perhaps Bob’s defines freedom as the level at which his values can be imposed on Europeans) "

This is how everyone defines freedom—rendering the word useless. I used to talk about freedom all the time until I finally realized that it was a weasel word.

But hate speech and holocaust denial? Those are silly, miniscule things that have almost no relevant impact on daily life

I take it you're not familiar with how the average arts-and-sciences faculty member defines 'hate speech'.

Those are silly, miniscule things that have almost no relevant impact on daily life

Look up 'Vlaams Blok" and get back to us.

It's okay. The NSA is still spying on the Europeans.

In fact, the NSA spies on Europeans, then shares that information with national intelligence agencies in Europe. Euro governments then have enough plausible deniability to act shocked, SHOCKED when such surveillance is revealed.

. . . we can no longer hope to roll back the power of the federal government through the normal political process.

He's talking about a revolution? The kind with guns and shooting people?

No. He talks about not going along with the rules and forcing the bureaucracies to prove every point, no voluntary compliance. This is very powerful. The bureaucracies are seriously underfunded in Canada and are able to do only part of what they are required by law, so, for example, a new inspector shows up for the regulating agency that I'm under. He has a vast territory to cover, just doesn't have time to do very much, but foolishly comes in with a new broom and tries to shut down a bunch of stuff, order a bunch of others, etc. Everyone just ignored him, he created a huge amount of work for himself so eventually he backed off. I haven't seen him for a couple years now. If there is a real problem that I need help with, I can get him, but otherwise he has far too much to do.

If for example, every corporation in the US decided to stop remitting payroll taxes, with an organized setup so that the sacrificial lamb was backed up, the IRS would be stuck and would be forced to back down on whatever prompted the action. Voluntary compliance is necessary, and a simple refusal to go along would cause it to grind to a halt. Even the scorched earth regulatory strategy can be halted if all of a sudden every action they took required court time and enormous legal fees.

This is pretty radical stuff, but hearing that guy who is the IRS top bureaucrat talk in Congress made me feel like someone needed a serious slapdown. I'm certain I wasn't the only one.

the you can't arrest everybody strategy

Coming as a defense for Murray, the irony is delicious. He is a published advocate of the idea of arresting as many 'chronic delinquents' - who he can undoubtedly tell just by looking at them - as the prisons can hold. See link to the report from 1979 above.

There irony ceases to exist suddenly if you understand the difference between true crime and crossing the regulatory state.

True crime, like a cop shooting someone in the back eight times? Then both he and the other cop and their department repeatedly lying as to events captured on video?

Some choice quotes concerning that murder -

'Slager thinks he properly followed all procedures and policies before resorting to deadly force, lawyer David Aylor said in a statement.

“When confronted, Officer Slager reached for his Taser — as trained by the department — and then a struggle ensued,” Aylor said. “The driver tried to overpower Officer Slager in an effort to take his Taser.”

Seconds later, the report added, he radioed that the suspect wrested control of the device. Even with the Taser’s prongs deployed, the device can still be used as a stun gun to temporarily incapacitate someone.

Slager “felt threatened and reached for his department-issued firearm and fired his weapon,” his attorney added.'

Europe tends not to have such true crime, by the way. Hell, the British, with their unarmed bobbies, can't even do it. Leaving aside the occasionally mistaken shots to the head of an innocent man -

Coming as a defense for Murray, the irony is delicious. He is a published advocate of the idea of arresting as many ‘chronic delinquents’ – who he can undoubtedly tell just by looking at them – as the prisons can hold. See link to the report from 1979 above.

The four youths who Berhard Goetz shot in 1984 had between them 19 arrests, 12 convictions, and had served a grand total of 120 days in jail for all that. Just looking at their rap sheet will tell you a great deal about them.

When you're done stewing over having been fired for cause by George Mason, you can ponder that.

'When you’re done stewing over having been fired for cause by George Mason, you can ponder that.'

The fantasies of some commenters - after meeting the person who later became my German wife in Halifax, I left employment at GMU, where at the time, I was a full time employee of another one of those centers at GMU which just coincidentally happened to use the Commonwealth of Virginia's resources while engaging in profitable activities (and doing a nice job getting around federal law, as an extra bonus). Much to President Johnson's fiscal delight it must be noted - unlike the Mercatus Center these days, that center contributed money to the GMU Foundation, instead of being a recipient of almost 9 million dollars that did not go to GMU itself - details here

This being a couple of years after voluntarily leaving the GMU PR department - some people can be paid enough to swallow their self-respect, but if the past is any guide, I'm not one of them.

I'd offer to let you read the recommendation letter written by the director of that center, but it is almost a quarter of a century old at this point, and the man who wrote died a couple of years ago - and since I haven't opened any of the sealed copies, the idea of doing it now seems remarkably pointless.

You can however garnish assets from lots of people as needed.

Koskinen was all like, "You want me behind that desk. You need me behind that desk. You're Goddamn right I ordered the audits!"

My Canadian friends -- not really on the left -- say that two of the bureaucracies that are starving are "Fish and Wildlife" (or whatever they are called) and Forestry, particularly in terms of enforcement. Conservation officers can't keep up with poachers.

That's hopefully not the kinds of bureaucracy that are being starved.

Yes. Pretty well all of them, environment, forestry, most of the trade regulatory agencies, policing was but there has been an effort to fund it in response to crime increasing and the focus on security. Health care spending sucks up resources. Some success in industry funded regulatory systems, and municipalities are working to implement the successful 'funding by penalty' model that improved Ferguson.

Typically if there is a real issue that catches the attention of media and politicians, money shows up. Otherwise there are other things more important.

I remember hearing that that was a trade-mark of the Harper government's aggression against any bureaucracies or agencies responsible for maintaining the environment in the face of the "More Oil = More Prosperity!" agenda. The rules might still stand, but the enforcement side would be utterly gutted, along with other measures (like suddenly underfunding the libraries of records of ecological data from fish and wildlife, causing a lot of them to just be thrown out).

Single-payor medicine > the environment.

Also, how much do Han Chinese and Middle Easterners and Haitians care about the Canadian wilderness? Has the Canadian environmental movement gotten a real shot in the arm from immigration?

It really does work in Canada, but the problem is that I strongly believe some of those regulations not being enforced are probably very good.

I also suspect that it works in Canada because the country as a whole realized that unlike in the US there isn't an unlimited flow of money. If the Canadian dollar collapsed nobody would save them, and few would notice.

When the US government finds raising money difficult it will become a world revolution and it will be incredibly ugly.

It is crazy to think Canadian limitations apply to the most powerful state the world has yet seen.

And yet we would be naive to think that such a "revolution" would lead to an improved situation, much less a libertopia or conservatopia. More likely you'd see a major breakdown of order and stability, with the end result being the U.S. as a more repressive Banana Republic-type state, or maybe a Greece.

I think the least likely outcome is that the U.S. gov't sits back and says "You've really made us question whether it's appropriate for us to collect taxes and save the bald eagle at all. OK, we concede. Commence laissez-faire."

"...and save the bald eagle..."

Of all the things the USG does, it's quaint that you seize on that.

You are really not going to like our diverse, crowded, low-trust future.

Of all the things the USG does, it’s quaint that you seize on that.

I'll wager he works for the National Park Service. Budget cuts? We'll shut the Washington Monument.

The Chinese I know are quite environmentally aware -- and appreciate my quips about conservation and conservativism being linked, not just in terms of etymology (they are mostly centre or right of centre).

But these are the ones who have been here two or more generations.

Well the bald eagle is a heckuvalot safer now in our diverse, crowded dystopia than it was back in the "good ol' days," so I'm feeling pretty good about it so far.

Art Deco, it's telling that you seem to think only gov't bureaucrats who work for the parks department could possibly think conserving America's national bird is a legitimate function of the government.

It's telling you seem to have trouble differentiating ironic remarks from straight commentary.

I generally assume that complaints about the rule of law are actually complaints about ideological foes making policy until proven otherwise.

It's even worse than you think. "Rule of law" just means the place where the polite intelligent people have more of the guns.

I generally assume people who make these sorts of remarks would rather avoid answering just how it is that a sentence fragment in a constitutional provision enacted in 1868 makes it impermissible for a state government to issue marriage licenses to pairs of dudes or makes it impermissible to the federal Congress (and not shallow smart assed law clerks) to define what constitutes a marriage in determining program eligibility or makes it impermissible for a state electorate to redistribute functions from local to state authorities if it will inconvenience Anthony Kennedy's favorite client group.

To refuse to issue.

Keep on tiltin', Senor Quixote

You're point is what?

Go NIMBYism, go! And you thought Washington had problems.

Last one holding Federal Reserve Notes loses.

Has Murray come to see the virtue in illegal immigration? Because this closely describes the economic boom among the illegal immigrant population in the US, and the benefit to the US economy, tossing aside normal legal pathways to economic freedom in favor of letting the American economy choose with its pocketbook.

Top quality comment.

As the US becomes incapable of delineating its borders, that is, as the US state begins to dissolve, at some point people will start drawing their own. Mexican cartel employees, for example,have shot American trespassers. (The Mexican police chief presuming to investigate the trespasser's shooting was beheaded.).

If you have a lot of acreage, like the 2700 ac. spread David Letterman bought for himself, his wife and their one child, then evicting illegal immigrants squatting on your ranch is going to be up to you. Actually, the category of "illegal immigrant" with due process and hearing officers will no longer exist.

By the way, "public lands" as a protected category will no longer exist either. We will see one of history's last great land-rushes as armed squatters stake their claims. If you enjoy wilderness hiking, do it now.

Isn't it the reverse of that? If we've seen an "economic boom among the illegal immigrant population", isn't it precisely because they're not integrated into the suffocating regulatory state, which the normalization of their legal status would "fix"? Wouldn't their normalization cause the ruin of their vibrant independent communities?

Isn't that what shecky said?

I get the strongest impression that when Charles Murray calls for mass civil disobedience and resistance to regulators, he's probably talking about the regulations that annoy white rich and upper-middle class folks like himself. Resist the minimum wage, over-time laws, rules about driving 4-wheelers through sensitive desert habitat, mandates on health care? Tally Ho! Workers doing sit-down strikes in violation of Taft-Hartley, environmentalists carrying out blockades to blunt the enforcement of state leases to drill oil on public land, people selling drugs openly in parks? What are you, some type of communist? Throw the book at them!

"Sit-down" "blockade"

Even in your stupid example you can't help but make the 'okay' crimes victimless, while the other ones have direct private victims.

Try harder.

"sensitive desert habitat" "public land" and "parks" are wealthy, white concerns.

As the regulatory regime breaks down, yes, all these things will come to pass: de facto abolition of minimum wage and Taft-Hartley and Title VII, poaching, wildcat drillers, squatting.

The people engaged in these activities will not be white rich upper middle-class folks.


Read murrays work. He's much closer to a populist than elitist libertarian.

Read then comment.

No "impressions."

Read a bio on Murray first. Burned a cross on his parents lawn during the period of civil rights legislation.

Here is a link from a media review project on his bio, and think for yourself:

30 seconds ago, before I read this comment I did not know that there was a shameproject.

I wish I could go back to that far more pleasant time.

Burned a cross on his parents lawn during the period of civil rights legislation.

He also married an oriental in Thailand while working for the Peace Corps. They're funny dudes in that thar klavern.

'Oriental'. You sound like my mother in law. That's not a compliment.

Also read the wiki on Charles Alan Murray's work first and its criticism by academics so you can do some critical reading:

It's wiki, so what's the point?

Explainer, You might also have people read the criticisms of Murray's work and methodology that has proliferated since the book was published.

Here is a link:

Everyone should read everything and then just not comment at all.

Murray's "populism" is a matter of cultural affinity more than anything, like Mike Huckabee's. His writings denounce people living in Manhattan or San Francisco who have advanced degrees and sneer at hoi polloi. There is much less denunciation of, say, working conditions for low-paid employees, the decline of collective bargaining and rising inequality. Murray's plan for lifting up the poor and working class in America consists of taking away their safety net and putting in place a sort of cultural commitment to paternalism where the most successful Americans commit to serve as public role models for the working class (by going to church, having healthy marriages, not doing drugs, etc.) and then to denounce the poorest Americans as bums and layabouts.

Murray’s “populism” is a matter of cultural affinity more than anything, like Mike Huckabee’s.

Uh, no. Mike Huckabee came from a working class background (as did Rick Santorum); and is concerned with the economic welfare of that segment as well as having a cultural affinity for it.

Their backgrounds are irrelevant. If expressing concern about the economic welfare of a certain segment of the population makes one a populist, then just about every serious politician running for higher office is "populist." My only point about Murray was that his rhetoric is part of a larger trend on the right where what passes for "populism" is concerned almost entirely with identity politics (especially southern white identity politics) and hardly at all with economics. Huckabee, for instance, called his campaign book "God, Guns, Grits and Gravy." He might as well have added a reference to damned Yankee carpetbaggers in the subtitle.

How do you think high-g individuals living in Manhattan and San Francisco would respond to a proposal to maintain our lower-tier citizens' employment prospects and bargaining power by stricter border controls and tariffs?

Are they on the market for an au pair?

"Murray’s “populism” is a matter of cultural affinity more than anything.."


white rich and upper-middle class folks like himself.

Make up your mind. Is he 'rich' or 'upper middle class'? How does a man whose primary income has been a salary from the American Enterprise Institute end up 'rich'? When did you get a look at his balance sheet?

So, you are utterly unaware of how successful Murray has been as an author?

Of course you are aware, unless you are truly utterly ignorant about Murray and his work - but then, why bother with such a trifling detail when commenting about a post promoting that author's latest work.

The generator of Catholic non-fiction with one of the larger audiences quoted some years ago for her readers her annual haul in royalties from her main series. It was $14,000 per annum. Sorry, not buying the idea that Charles Murray is a wealthy man from producing works of commentary and wonkery for a small segment of the book-buying market.

I'll take your evasion as an admission you haven't seen his balance sheets.

He has a booking agent (working on commission, presumably) therefore what? It's doubtful that any academic institution is going to pay big bucks to hear from Charles Murray, so you're working the trade association market (which I think tends toward people with more exposure). I take it you have not seen his balance sheets either.

Well...let's see. So the USDA will be phased out? How about Social Security? The VA? Or Medicare? HUD? Okay, surely we can X-out Department of Commerce. No? No more FDIC? No more SEC? No go?

Okay, how about a law that every state gets back roughly equal what it sends to DC in taxes? No, rural states will kill that. Rural states live in PInk Wonderland and what to stay there. Ethanol stays---did not you see the recent GOP rumpus in Iowa. Ethanol=good.

Can we go back to what the Founding Fathers envisioned, a volunteer militia and not a professional standing military? Laughs all around.


At least on the Federal level, I never had a problem with 'government agencies'. The only two agencies I have ever dealt with were the Post Office (buy stamp, mail letter and that's pretty much it....I assume I have a mailman since there's mail in my mailbox when I come home every day but I can't exclude a wormhole or quantum teleportation), and the IRS. The IRS consisted of exactly one complicated tax issue which required I called on behalf of my wife. Yes it took a while to get someone and he was almost absurdly polite and stilted but he knew how to handle it and told me exactly what to ask the bank to issue, and after 3 months of research the bank did. Other than that my interaction is limited to 45 minutes a year with Turbotax, which I use because it saves me a stamp and provides me with an archive of previous returns.

Ohhh yes I know in my day to day life there's a lot of influence from the Federal gov't. I drive on roads they laid down, the actual tax rates drive many economic decisions, I fill prescriptions because the FDA approved the drugs etc. But in terms of actually dealing with the gov't, I almost never interact with the Feds. State and local gov't, on the other hand, has more interactions and the pyramid is inverted. I often find the more local the gov't, the more annoying, the less helpful and the more obvious it is set up only to either harass me or (more often) milk me.

I guess it might be different if I owned an investment bank, an oil rig, a landfill or coal mine, but I don't and neither does 99.9% of everyone else. I'll give Murray's book a swing when I have time, but I suspect I'm not going to find it very convincing.

I guess it might be different if I owned an investment bank, an oil rig, a landfill or coal mine, but I don’t and neither does 99.9% of everyone else.

Yes, none of those things are sold on the NYSE or NASDAQ or directly so 99.9% of people don't own any of them. Nothing to see in those IRAs, 401ks, etc.


I do, that's pretty indirect though.

Ohhh yes I know in my day to day life there’s a lot of influence from the Federal gov’t. I drive on roads they laid down,

Unless you spend a mess of time driving on federal property, no you don't. The federal Department of Transportation is one big bagman. About 2/3 of it's budget consists of patronage distributed to state and local governments, the boys gettin' together and cuttin' up the cash.

Murray's strength is that of a linguist. By that I mean he excels at using words and phrases in ways that are the opposite of what they actually mean. Such as using the term liberty when describing dependence, or dependence when describing liberty. It's a practice that is all too common on both sides of the political divide. I attended college and law school in what could be called the post-Orwell era, when clarity in the use of words was considered the only acceptable method of communication, when propaganda was recognized for what it was, when facts had no political bias, when every student owned a well-worn copy of Strunk and White. Most students today likely would identify Strunk and White as a singing duo. Politicians have long used words and phrases in ways that are the opposite of what they actually mean (using peace when they mean war). Sadly, the practice has become common among many in the social sciences.

"By that I mean he excels at using words and phrases in ways that are the opposite of what they actually mean. "

Charles Murray's writing is very straightforward and not deceptive. You either, have never actually read him or just don't like his conclusions.

Lawyers are sophists. They actually give awards to the most sophistic among them. How long has it been since you practiced law?

No, lawyers are socratic. How long has it been since you engaged in a real discussion, rather than calling people names? Isn't calling people names a form of sophistry?

Are you a practicing lawyer? I know we like to fancy ourselves with descriptors like "Socratic" and "Esquire" and "Juris Doctor."

I'm all of them.

So do you meet with all your fellow juris doctors, sipping port and engaging in Socratic dialogue?

Anti, Apparently I do meet my fellow juris doctors, but only on this site, and as for sipping port, I can't see what your drinking, but evidently it must be powerful stuff.

Bill, I think you are mistaken. None of those are Latin for "pompous troll".

I.e. a shameless rent seeker.

Incorrect, triclops. 'Juris Doctor' IS Latin for 'pompous troll'

This sounds like Gillespie and Welch's book "Declaration of Independence" where the rise of technology is allowing individuals to bypass the state in many areas and expanding our overall freedoms despite the heavy hand of government...and that political fixes are not the answer.

"Irish democracy"

See, e.g.,

Sorry "Declaration of Independents"

Don't worry, the Left has it's sights on the internet.

Local govt does not mean more individual freedom. It means community standards. People can't help themselves. If I put a big phallus in my front yard and worship it, people will run to the govt to get me to take it down. They'll probably say that they don't want to talk about penises with their children or have to explain to them that some ancient cultures worshipped them. Of course, if they put a Nazi flag or Confederate flag on their property, that's freedom of speech, notwithstanding the fact that I might not want to have to explain to my children that there were people who wanted to exterminate us from the planet or that people actually fought for slavery until I want to.

In fact, you could argue that the Black Panthers were all about devolving power. Of course, when a bunch of Black men, including a number of Vietnam vets, started exercising their right to arm themselves, people couldn't pass gun laws fast enough. The Panthers were infiltrated, executed, and the subjects of any minor law the govt had passed.

And my opinion about the Panthers doesn't matter. That's the point. If people feel the need, they'll crawl to the govt for help, whatever they call themselves, and they'll do that by finding the level of govt that supports them.

The Panthers were infiltrated, executed, and the subjects of any minor law the govt had passed.

Betty Van Patter could not be reached for comment.

Betty Van Patter? She was murdered in December of 1974. The period I'm talking about ended in 1970. After that, what the organization became and who would support it is a different question.

Sorry, chum. It's the same question.

Why would you say that? I was referring to a period that had clearly ended by 1971 when Cointelpro was exposed and the BPP split, with one part of it centering in Oakland. As far as I know, Betty Van Patter is connected with that era of the BPP's history. There are certainly people who believe that she was killed by the BPP. As far as I'm concerned, it's a tragedy that her murderer/s, whomever they are, have not been brought to justice, although, in theory, they can still be tried for that crime, if they're alive. I would hope that they would be.

My point was that it could be argued that the BPP was founded to protect the freedom of the Black Community. Govt agencies, at all levels, then used a range of tactics, some legal, some not-legal, to disrupt the BPP. It worked. I see the murder of Fred Hampton as the beginning of the end of this period. Whatever the situation, you cannot simply focus on a name and expect people not even connected with the BPP at that time to answer for the crimes of particular people, some of whom they no longer even associated with.

But here's the interesting point to me...I focus on crimes committed by governments, and you respond by bringing up a crime committed by private citizens against a private citizen, as best I can tell with a poisoning the well, logically fallacious, intention. And here's the rub...If local authorities had not been willing to solve her murder, then higher government agencies should have been brought in to do so. If they didn't, that's a failure of government as well, but not the same one as Cointelpro.

BTW, every time the FBI is mentioned, you should tell them to ask Fred Hampton, which would, from my point of view, make no sense.

My point was that it could be argued that the BPP was founded to protect the freedom of the Black Community.

Yeah, if you were intoxicated, that might sound sensible.

I was referring to a period that had clearly ended by 1971

I'm sure they were pure as snow three years before offing Mrs. Van Patter.

There are certainly people who believe that she was killed by the BPP. As far as I’m concerned, it’s a tragedy that her murderer/s, whomever they are, have not been brought to justice,

She would not co-operate with their schemes to bilk the government programs re they were grant recipients. See the account of David Horowitz on this sequence of events. He was her previous employer and had recommended her services to them.

David Horowitz? How did he get in here? Wasn't he a supporter of the Oakland BPP at the time? I understand how the murder of his friend changed his opinion of the Oakland BPP given that he believes they're responsible for the murder, and maybe they are. But what does that have to do with the situation of the Black community in places like Oakland in 1966? Have you read anything on the the events I've mentioned? Other than by David Horowitz?

I explained how he 'got in here', his involvement in the Van Patter matter.

The situation in blacks faced in northern cities was how to cope with escalating disorder in the streets and in the schools in a matrix crucially influenced by a political class indifferent to the concerns of working class people and bound and determined to generate patron-client relations to address 'poverty'. The salutary contribution that truculent young men in bad mufti could make was nil.

So your answer was that you haven't read anything on the subject. But I knew that.

The problem Murray references has one address: the legal profession, most particularly the apartments within it occupied by the appellate judiciary, the law professoriate, and Big Law. Try several solutions:
1. minimum ages and mandatory retirement for federal judges, retention-in-office referenda for federal judges, recall elections for all appellate judges, subjecting judges to interpellation under pain of jailing for civil contempt by legislative sergeants at arms.
2. Also, dissolving the current corps of law schools and replacing them with schools that offer an 11 month program in basic course work as a prelude to an office apprenticeship.
3. A federal law limiting legal proprietorships, legal partnerships and those in their employ to lawyers admitted only in the state it is headquartered unless the firm has its headquarters in a metropolitan settlement which crosses state lines (e.g. greater Philadelphia), in which case the firm can have lawyers admitted in the various states of the settlement. Likewise, such firms would be limited in their hiring to lawyers admitted to practice in the federal courts encompassing the metropolitan settlement in which the headquarters nestles.
4. Stripping members of the bar (especially judges) of their immunity from bills of attainder.

There's very good reason the Founders got rid of bills of attainder. They allowed anyone who did something politically unpopular (generally unpopular with the King, whose opinion was the main one that mattered) to be punished extra-judicially despite having broken no laws (some had of course, but it was easier to ram an attainder through parliament than get a jury to convict). We no more should return to that "tradition" than we should set up a state church or reinstitute hanging, drawing and quartering.

The founders did not have to contend with Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Exile the wench to Argentina and be done with it.

Art, I'm curious. What's the genesis of your persistent negative attention seeking behavior?

It only looks negative to people who are wrong on the issues.

"The rediversification of American culture is making local freedom attractive to liberals as well as conservatives."

Indiana disagrees.

Shorter Charles Murray: Woe unto us that the 19th century had to end!

You'll have to do better than that if you want to make the case for the 1.3 million abortions a year and unilateral divorce on demand.

Once again, you kick more anthills by injecting wedge issues that have little relevance to this discussion. But perhaps, because you've obviously read "The Bell Curve", you can tell us how you feel about the authors' treatment of what Murray called the "Flynn Effect", when making their case for nature over nurture.

I have no opinion on psychometrics

I get your point. If it's something you want, it's a 'matter of principle'. If it's something I want, it's a 'wedge issue'.

As for what I injected and what I did not, I can't help it if the implications of Jon Fraz remark escaped you.

Nah, Art, no one cares what you think. JonFraz doesn't have to do squat.

You don't care, which is why you followed me all over this thread. mskings, the indifferent stalker.

"Nah, Art, no one cares what you think. "

If you didn't care what he thought, or at least what he wrote, then you wouldn't have commented on it.

Fair enough. No one but me cares what ArtDeco thinks.

Comments for this post are closed